Super Salsa

Why does salsa always get sent to stand with the junk food on the dark side?

I object.

Salsa is the unsung Hero of snack foods. It quietly lives amidst the chips and weezie-cheeze of the land and yet salsa itself, when done correctly – could probably save the world from an impending disaster.

Just saying.

Salsa is like – Captain America.

Captain America, AKA, Captain Salsa

Make your own salsa at home and you concoct a food so potent, so powerful and infused with health that you might just find yourself in a super hero costume. (Hopefully one that fits you and doesn’t make you look like a ballerina on steroids… you know, cuz that’s weird.)

…before eating homemade salsa…. after eating homemade salsa

Let’s break this down.

Super Awesome Radically Healthy Save The World Salsa

 2 cups diced raw tomatoes – go ahead and ask any ketchup bottle in the store just how healthy tomatoes are. Lycopene has proven itself to the Health Pros as being a definite Good Guy in the war on cancer. *This* is awesome. If ketchup is good for you due to lycopene, imagine the slap of wellness you’ll get from eating fresh, raw tomatoes?! I can hear the scurry of little cancer cell feet now…

1 medium sized mango, peeled and diced. My husband loves mangos in his salsa, and what do you know – there’s good reason to love them. That’s one smart man! Mangos are nutritional powerhouses, full of vitamins and  boast a great deal of fiber. Yum.

1 medium onion, diced. Onions make you cry – but so do a lot of good things, like tetnus shots and getting married. In fact, it’s the good thing in onions that *makes* you cry – sulfur and various sulfur compounds. They contain a lot of flavonoids (which, at first sounds like something robotic and scary that should be on the Bad Side, but once you get to know them a little bit, they’re OK.) and help your gut produce the army of bacteria it needs to keep your colon up and running. Think of Captain America in his brightly colored suit, leading the charge against the bad guys and you sitting there in the theater, moved to tears… that’s like onions in salsa.

1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro. Cilantro, often treated as a mere garnish, is truly quite the heroic herb, its chemical compounds actually binding to heavy metals in your body and dragging them out, kicking and screaming if need be, thus saving your life every time you eat it. Wow. I think we need a little more cilantro love going around, don’t you? How about a national Cilantro Day -or a super hero devoted to the Cilantro cause… any volunteers?

Now for the cast of side kicks.

Don’t underestimate the influence of a good side kick, just because the movie isn’t *named* after them, or their costume isn’t the coolest, the Hero wouldn’t be able to do his job were it not for his faithful back up.

2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice – kicks up the flavor a notch and adds another dose of potent antioxidants, cleanses your gut (and who doesn’t need a good gut cleanse now and again) and boosts your immune system. It enables you to be ready for the battle when it comes… and it will come.

1 tsp minced garlic. Who can say enough about the goodness of garlic? I certainly can’t. It’s awesome. Eat it. Trust me. Be healthy.

1 Tblsp  mint leaves, chopped

“Do I detect a hint of minty freshness?”
Donkey – he put the ‘kick’ in side-kick

Mint is good for you – let’s face it – after all those onions, mint is going to be good for the world *around* you. Like the best of side-kicks, mint takes some of the brashness away from the main man; improving digestion, making your breath a little sweeter, relieving some of the nausea experienced after spending two hours looking through 3D glasses at the theater – what more could one want?

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Please… no ashes.

There you go- the plot is simple. Evil lurks in the form of unpronounceable food additives and the stuff they put in the water (you know they put stuff in the water). The junk is building, hope is fading, hunger is growing… and then


comes to the rescue. Not only does it smash through your taste buds like a guy in spandex trying to save the world, but the goodness just keeps going as it fights the free radicals and heavy metals ravishing your system, then replenishes your natural defenses and leaves you with a sense of fullness and health.

…he’s going to go get salsa now… even heros need a hero

faster than a speeding bullet…salsa

10 Things Tuesdays…

Is it just me – or do I hate Tuesdays? They seem a little insipid to me, they don’t carry the dread of Monday, or the relief of Friday, they aren’t in the middle or the end – they’re like an early Thursday – and everyone *knows* what Thursdays are – something we have to get through to reach Friday. What do we get when we get through Tuesday? Wednesday.

How exciting.

So – let’s talk 10 Things.

Every Tuesday, I’m going to list 10 things, random things that are totally subject to my whim and will. You are more than welcome to join me, if you so choose.

Link up, comment  – send a smoke signal, share your own 10 Things. Today’s the day to do it…

This week, it’s 10 Things I love about my husband…

1) I love that he chased a frantic firefly around a dark yard, trying to catch it so that our friends’ 3 year old could see one up close. Everybody now, “Awwww!”

2) I love how he looks when he first wakes up and doesn’t fully realize that he isn’t sleeping anymore.

3) I love the miniature cowlick at the front of his head.

4) I love that he stopped traffic for me once while he was in uniform because no one would let me cross the road. Talk about being treated royally! He always has my back.

5) I love that when he was picking out his truck, while still a carefree buck of a boy, he made sure it had places where a car seat could buckle in, for ‘someday’.

6) I love that, as uncomfortable as it makes him, he lets me cry when I need to.

7) I love that he likes to talk to me as much as I like to talk to him.

8) I love his silent “WOW”. Whenever something really impresses, shocks, delights, surprises or amuses him, he exaggeratedly mouths the word ‘wow’ – but no sound comes out.

9) I love that, even though he is a new believer, he isn’t shy to pray in front of people, or sing the hymns he doesn’t know *perfectly* – I don’t think he knows how rare and precious that it.

10) I love that he giggles when I tell him how handsome is and says, “Don’t worry babe, we’ll get those eyes fixed right up…”

There you go. Tell me 10 things about someone you love…

10 things link-up

I was reading a post from Niki over at Meet Your Treat where she talked a little about the anonymity of blogging, and how it can be hard to give people a good sense of who you are, walking the fine line between ‘sharing’ and ‘babbling’. She then shared a few photos of objects from her life and told a little bit about them. Brilliant!

SO – here’s my big idea.

Let’s do a link-up of 10 Things lists. If you read this blog, and would like to get a little piece of who you are out there, you are welcome to join me and share a list of 10 Things – any things, that says something about you that may be hard to convey in a more structured venue. If you have a blog of your own – post something and comment below, leave the link to your site and I promise we will pack up our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and head over to visit. Don’t have a blog? List your things in the comments, and we’ll have an ‘in-house’ showing. I know a couple of you have already done posts like this and if you want to include your ‘old’ Things List – go ahead, but I think it would be pretty awesome if you came up with something new ‘on the fly’.

Who’s with me? Anybody? Am I going to post my 10 Things alone?

We’re bloggers, and readers of blogs – we’re a community of people, let’s communitize. (I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m going to use it anyway.)

Here’s My New List of Ten Things

10 Weird Things That Changed My Life

1) Coconut oil. I am a total frizz-head and have exceedingly dry skin. I found coconut oil and it works wonders on my wild, child-eating hair and scaly skin. (I sound a little bit like a Marvel comic monster there, don’t I?)

2) Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over”. That song gives me goosebumps – every time.

3) Realizing that Mr. Darcy isn’t a real person. Never was. Never will be. The End.

4) The moment I realized how to count back change.

5) Taking a course on folk weather predicting in High School – I barely look at the weather forecast now.

6) Almond Milk. Amen.

7) Aiding my little milk goat while she was giving birth to her first kid when I was 17.

8) Pad Tai

9) My first Kiss. I know that doesn’t seem all that weird now, but don’t you remember *your* first kiss? It was a little weird, right? Yeah. My husband still teases me about it…

10) Probably the first time I ever made a list and realized that *this* was the way I would structure my entire life from there on out. Listing.

I’m a big list person.

There you go – my ten things. What about you? What are your ten favorite books? Top ten movies? Ten songs you absolutely can’t stand? Ten pictures from your house? Ten places you want to visit? Ten things you’d never do? Have at it, I can’t wait to hear…

Murders, Flashbacks, Fences and Micro Greens

Hot Quinoa Cereal for breakfast, Lovelies and Gents, and the sourdough starter sits on the stove, waiting to be named.


Here it is on Day Two – it bubbled up an astonishing amount and had to be swiftly stirred back into a liquid state WITH A WOODEN SPOON. I realized that the problem with the last starter was that it had been murdered, by me, with a metal spoon. Oops.


And so, I made a note…

Oh my. I will try extra hard NOT to murder this one, especially after it has been named.

Today’s agenda includes putting up a rabbit proof fence around our little garden out back (rabbits seem to be awfully fond of our beets…) and eating BLTs using the micro greens we harvested by thinning the lettuce yesterday. Itty-bitty little lettuce leaves – they’re so cute!

I think everyone in Vermont had a little PTSD yesterday during the afternoon thunderstorms that popped up and were more than just a little terrifying. Alex and I were trying to leave the home improvement store (where we were buying the rabbit fence) during the hardest rain – it was dumping down in great sheets of water. We both thought the same thing -“Irene”. Last fall’s hurricane ended well for us personally, but it really was a tragic time for many New Englanders. The rain fell so hard and so fast it was pooling on the roads and the storms drains were shooting water *out* of them like five-foot tall fountains in the city streets – it was eerie.

We made it through though, and had a nice date where we had the best tasting calzone and then watched a movie at the theater. Remind me to make calzones sometime…

Anyway – onward! There’s a fence waiting to be put up, breakfast to be eaten and uniforms to be ironed…

Any more suggestions for names???

Have a good one, y’all!



i’m sorry, is my creepiness showing?

I hate it when that happens, but, inspired by my lovely blog-neighbor Castle of Blue (you can read her sweet post HERE) I thought I would make a list of the 11 creepiest things about me.

Because that’s how I roll.

Are you ready?

11. I’m not afraid of being creepy – which, isn’t that creepy in itself?

10. I name everything. Everything. It creeps people out.

9. When I was in fourth grade, I convinced the group of ‘cool guys’ in my class that I was actually a vampire and that my fruit punch was really blood… enough said. All the other girls in class were batting eyes at them and trying to get dates. Creepy.

8. I love Tim Burton, and he’s Super Creepy.

7. Sometimes, when I eat things that have little pieces like rice or ground beef, it goes up my nose from my throat and I have to do creepy things to get them out. I don’t know how it happens – but it does, you can ask Alex. Ok, so that was more *gross* than *creepy* but oh well.

6. When I am pleased with myself over something I have done, I make this uber creepy laughing sound that *sort of* resembles The Count’s laugh from Sesame Street, but not enough to make it *not* freak people out. For confirmation, you can ask my boss, who says, “What is THAT? Are you just being Creepy?” Yes, yes I am.

5. When I was a kid, I fell in love with all the wrong people in Disney movies, like, all the bad guys. My mom was wicked worried… it creeped her out.

4. I have one eye that squints really hard when I smile so that I look like a pirate – my mouth gets all cooked too – it’s creepy.

3. The toenails on my little toes don’t grow. At All. They haven’t for years.

2. One of my most famous parlor tricks is swallowing a piece of spaghetti that I’m holding and then pulling it back up out of my throat. Oh yeah.  (Hang in there, it’s almost over)

1. Who knows “Sideways Stories from Wayside School“? Anybody? Anybody? I have read this series an inordinate amount of times. It is, by far, the creepiest children’s book series in the history of the Entire World, And I Adored It. Still do.

The End. You’re free. Go roam in the world among those who aren’t as creepy as I.


a very scary story in which the publicity is just too much

It was a dark and stormy night.

That’s the way most scary stories have to start, right?

Well, this story – in which I am scared out of my wits by a genuine fan – does take place at night (that’s the dark part) but there is no storm involved. Sorry.

It was dark though, very dark, and my husband and I were strolling down the sidewalk, arm in arm, headed home after an unsuccessful trip to the movie store downtown. (The movie store closes at seven, not nine, Ann. Duh.) We were talking about something, I am sure, or maybe just walking along in love-struck silence under the orange glow of the streetlights when we were approached by a woman who was leading along a little, fuzzy white dog on a leash. She didn’t seem to notice us as we walked closer to her, and we certainly didn’t pay much attention to her when she was suddenly right in front of us, the little dog sniffing around in the leaves on the edge of the sidewalk, she looked up at me and yelled,


She had a huge smile on her face, but I jumped back and immediately tried to hide behind my husband, who was now looking at the lady and the dog – determinedly pawing in the sidelines. She seemed to be about middle age, short brown hair with a happy laugh and not too dangerous a build – the dog was nothing to fear either but my voice and breath were stuck somewhere between my heart and my stomach. Why was she yelling foods at us? Did she want me to respond with another type of pie? Were we doing desserts, or any food, or ones that have to do with potatoes? Or was she just crazy? Or was I sleeping? I stood there, staring at her, mouth open, cutting off the blood to my husband’s hand with my grip on his arm, wondering if I should just run.

“Oh, I didn’t mean to scare you. You wrote that recipe for sweet potato pie in the Reporter. I love your articles, I read them in the paper….. “

I had absolutely forgotten that my column with the sweet potato pie recipe had been published that day. I can’t really remember the rest of what she said because I was so relieved we weren’t about to be killed by someone with an obsession about sweet potatoes. How creepy would that have been? I think I nodded and I must have smiled a little because she kept talking as she walked on, followed by her small dog, apologizing for scaring me and promising to be more discreet should we ever meet in the daylight. I don’t think I had said a single intelligible thing.

Alex and I turned to continue home and he said, “Babe, we need to work on your people skills…. especially if strangers are going to keep coming up to you and saying how much they like to read your column in the paper….”

The next day, when I wandered across the street to the library to pick up a book, the librarian took one look at me and hollered, seasoned with a terrific amount of glee,


This time I was ready for it and laughed as I said, “Oh, you saw the column yesterday, eh?” The delights of living in a small town. I did much better in the daylight as we talked a little bit about sweet potatoes and pies and books and the freelancing course I took a month ago- Alex would have been proud of my people skills.

I think I am going to start giving my columns more interesting names so that when people scream them back at me, I will have a better idea that they are not threatening me, but simply quoting me. Here are some ideas…






And we all lived happily ever after,

The End.

can i call you ‘maggot’?

Where would some of us be without our childhood friends?

I would probably be a much lazier, more ‘no-account’ version of myself without my dear friend, Rachel. Oh yes, Rachel, this post is about you.  Now you’re famous. Kinda.

Alex and I started running the other day and it was only mildly traumatic for me, I definitely think I will be going again. I told this to Rachel and said that I should employ her as my personal motivator. My dear friend Rachel, who does 100 push-ups in one day, has several jobs, teaches youth group, manages a cabinet shop, runs marathons, courts with a fellow who lives lightyears away (in London), knits, and still manages to bake cookies for the guys at work on a regular basis. I should have known what she would say in reply…. “Oh yeah, I could definitely do that…. can I call you ‘maggot’? You know, in a motivational way- ‘DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY, MAGGOT!”  Oh my.

The first time I ever had a real conversation with Rachel, we ended up discussing toenail polish and plotting out our futures as old maids who lived on the coast of *somewhere* and raised goats. We were like 13 and 14 years old. Rachel was young and slender and dreamed of moving to Europe and marrying an artsy man who listened to Josh Groban and read Jane Austen. I was young, not so slender and rather uptight about marrying a farmer who wasn’t going to forbid me from writing. I also wanted to go to Europe, preferably with Rachel, and listen to Josh Groban while basking in the warm, Italian sun with a personal interpreter to tell us what in the sam hill the man was singing *about*.

 After 700 years of spinstertude, at the ages of 17 and 18, we decided to grow older and then open a coffee/tea, yarn/book shop, still on the coast, still with goats, knowing that  we would need some sort of occupation, even as old maids. Rachel is the girl I cried with when I realized that Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester, Edward Ferras and John Thorton were fictional characters that never really existed- and never would exist. She was realizing the same thing at the same time and we grieved together, then wiped away our tears to determine to love this *real* life we’ve been given, whether it ended in marital bliss or a spinsterly retirement with goats and endless knitting.

Then Rachel moved to a Bible School out in the wide-open state of Montana where she tamed wild mountain goats and learned to butcher elk. She also developed a fondness for cowboy boots and the smell of horse tack.

I traveled East to the wild state of Maine, and then Vermont where I would work as a toilet scrubber, cake decorator, greenhouse junkie, hardware honey and eventually, waitress. I developed a fondness for semi-vegetarian cuisine and got in touch with my closet-hippie. Groovy.

 Where are we now? Needless to say, our plans of being old maids on the coast with books and goats have been altered in the extreme, to the point where *some* people (Rachel and I) consider them *canceled* since we’ve both been found by pretty nice fellas- at least we think so. I grew up and married the handsome new cop in town (or maybe it was the other way around…) and Rachel, well, we’re still waiting on updates from across the Big Drink. They went “FaceBook Official” last Friday and I was there with the biggest of goofy grins on my face, ready to set my hearty “LIKE” on the match.

I dare say we will continue on, loving and living and arguing about which of our children should be forced to take cello lessons. She will inspire me to better myself and ‘fully enjoy the moment’, and I will remind her to breathe and not run herself into oblivion.

This has been a brief, totally random tangent.

Thank you for reading.

riding the bus with my apple


I’m going to start posting random homework assignments now?

You bet your sweet life I am.

I am thoroughly enjoying this creative writing course, even when they ask for random things like:

Write a short poem in which eating an apple on a crowded city bus is a metaphor for something else.”


I had five minutes, this is what ensued.

All alone with my apple on a crowded city bus,
Like loving you in the midst of this frenzied world of fuss.
The heat and their eyes fill the busy, breathless air, and
Your sweetness runs down my chin- they’re watching, I don’t care.
So kiss me now, me with apple breath,
While the whole world bustles past,
And bite by bite we’ll enjoy the trip
Because bus rides just don’t last.

random thoughts from me in the middle of the night

You heard it.

No recipes, no witty stories about my past (“Wait,” I hear you say, “there were witty stories about your past?”)

No cute pictures (Ok, maybe one or two)

Just random thoughts from me in the middle of the night because after listening to me read four chapters in Luke and a good chunk of God’s discourse in Job, my husband has fallen dead asleep on the couch and I am left alone.

Alone with you, dear reader, for company. I’m sorry.

I dislike talking on the phone. Intensely. If you are reading this, and you are someone I talk to on the phone, don’t be downcast, I probably love talking to *you*, even on the phone. It isn’t *you*, it’s the phone. I don’t know why. Maybe because my phone interrupts me by making random phone calls to *other* people while I am in the middle of a conversation. Maybe because my phone thinks that I am Carl Miller (if you are reading this, Carl Miller- there is some home security company who wants to protect your home. They keep calling me but I feel I can’t set something up for you since I don’t know your address..) and lies to people’s caller id, sending them into mild panic, wondering about this ‘Carl Miller’ fellow and why he would be calling them. I am not Carl Miller, but let’s face it, I have always had a problem with phones, just like I have had problems with vacuum cleaners and blenders. I don’t know why- it has always been thus, it isn’t my new phone’s fault at all.

And maybe I am just not technically advanced enough to work the things. Maybe. Maybe I need a personal upgrade. Ann, version 2.0.

Retro is much more my style…. dig it?

My husband and I are threatening to take up running. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love to write, I love the *idea* of being thin and in shape; I wish I loved to exercise as much. We *both* hate to run- so why did we pick this as a recreation? Because we’re too stinking happy, that’s why! Something had to change, and so we decided to take up- not knitting, not fishing, not polo or bridge, but running. I think we will learn to like it. After those first few thousand excruciating miles, I will probably even look forward to it and then we will have to find something else to hate. We’ll see.

I was in a semi-public place today when a semi-stranger walked up to me and said, “Aren’t you the gal that was in the paper yesterday?” I could have fallen over right there in front of him. Yes. Yes, I am the gal you saw in the paper. I am the newest columnist for our lovely local paper, writing every other week a column about- cooking. Are you surprised? I am.

I am A Writer. The semi-stranger said that he was looking forward to reading more from me in coming weeks. Did you get that? I had to go back and read it real slow- someone I don’t know liked something I wrote that was published in a newspaper. Oh. My. Word.

What does this have to do with the Manly Art of Knitting? Nothing. I just like the picture. A lot. Knitting is totally a manly art, especially if you knit while on a horse, dressed like a cowboy. Just sayin’.

That has been another episode of Random Things with Ann.

Tune in next week for more of the same!


and then they gave me this

Today was such a lovely thing to have lived through. The sun was warm and my Love and I went for a long walk down a back road and collected weed skeletons. It was perfect and made me long for Spring.

Then, I come here to my “Blogging Home” (as WordPress so comfortably calls it) and find that I have been given the Versatile Blogger Award.

Oh my.

And who nominated me? My Versatile friend, Girl Friday  from Girl Friday Makes Good.

I stumbled on Rachel’s lovely blog back when we were both still residing at our old blogspots through our mutual love of old movies and film noir. I think I was her first follower and absolutely fell in love with her sweet, humorous outlook on life. I commented *extensively* and before long we were penpals. Boy Howdy how things have changed in the months that followed! I started dating a handsome young police officer in our town. She started marketing her lovely Girl Friday Bags online and at local farmer’s markets. (I still want one, Rachel…) I fell in love with the before mentioned young man. Rachel took a brief blogging break while dealing with the loss of a beloved friend. I didn’t think I would ever write again after accidentally erasing my entire blog, then I married the fella I had fallen in love with (the only reasonable, rational ending to such a chain of events). And now- here we are, madly in love with our husbands, both blogging at WordPress, sharing an award for being our versatile selves.

Thanks, dear Girl Friday- I have so enjoyed getting to know you! You’re the best ;-p

So what are the requirements for this? (besides being Fully Awesome)

1. You must give thanks. To the one who gave you the award, that is, and link back to their site in your acceptance speech. (see above post)

2. You must share 7 things about yourself with the class. (keep reading)

3. Pass the award on to *other* bloggers. (I believe it’s supposed to be 9 or 15, but I don’t know that many, I’ll do my best…)

4. Contact the bloggers you awarded and let them know that THEY’VE WON!! (Surprise!! Make sure to bring confetti and the keys to their new car… just kidding. There’s no new car. Sorry.)

Here are some Fabulous Blogs you must Check Out:

Pie in the Sky – newly-wed, still glowing bride Grace writes about their adventures in marriage, life and love. Absolutely sweet and inspiring.

Life as a Story –  23 year old wordsmith and college student, MC ‘puts the cosmos of his mind down on a page’. Excellent reading if you need something to think about….

Life, in Recipes– an awesome foodie website I could spend too much time reading….

Becoming Madame– lovely, lovely, lovely. For those of us who would go to Paris 🙂

So, there are only four of them. Looks like I need to find some more friends in the WordPress neighborhood, eh?

And, as required, here are the Seven Things you are dying to know about Me.

1. I want to travel to California someday with Alex  a) to visit my brother-in-law Thane, and b) to visit Girl Friday

2. My dream car is actually a 1960s Chevy pickup truck. Butter yellow. Oh yeah.

3. I love argyle socks. A lot.

4. I am a self-diagnosed (and others-confirmed) obsessive compulsive list maker.

5. My husband thinks I have a pretty singing voice. I married a good man.

6. If I could choose any superpower, I would pick being able to heal people at will. Or, I would go with the ability to eat as much as I wanted without getting too fat. I know, kinda rides both ends of the spectrum there, just pretend I only shared the super-humanitarian one, ok?

7. As much as I am a devoted list maker, I am fascinated by, but rather allergic to making lists of things about myself.

So there you are, I am going to go now and figure out how to affix this lovely bit of colored badge to my sidebar.